Rating: ★★★★☆

Pros:

  • Excellent audio quality with soft, accurate sound
  • Lightweight design is safe, very comfortable
  • Blue on silver color scheme a visual stunner

Cons:

  • Minimal noise cancellation, not good in noisy surroundings
  • Rubber cabling is, for PC users, outdated

I already pointed out they were blue headphones, didn’t I? Well, it’s not such a big deal, but the blue is pretty cool regardless. But I won’t talk about how blue they are, but how good of a set the Steelseries Siberia V2 headset is. Sound good? Read on.

The Siberia V2 is a USB/3.5mm stereo headset, and I tested out the 3.5mm model, which is ultimately better for most computer users. That way there’s no headache with drivers and, if you’re using a soundcard or your motherboard handles audio well, then you don’t put it to waste. However, the USB model does provide virtual audio surround, but as I spoke with Steelseries in the past, they aren’t focused on surround sound. A discussion for another article.

Feel

Besides looking sleek as hell, especially with the blue paint job (which, as mentioned in our first look, was special for the Grammy’s), the Siberia V2 is very smartly built with a light, almost bare-bones frame and giant cans to sit over the ears. They’re round, which seems better suited for cartoon characters than real people, but these are so big the shape doesn’t matter. The V2’s sit comfortably over the ear, have good airflow, and don’t overhead.

They also don’t get uncomfortable easily, due to the miniscule frame and the steadying headband. The ear cans are connected by a wire-thin frame, literally two rubber-covered wires metal wires that are pliable. Below it is a headband that rests on the head, supporting the set and taking some of the pinch off of your ears, one of the few problems the Siberia Neckband has. That headband is very adjustable and is very comfortable to wear.

One downside: with good airflow often comes poor noise cancellation. The Siberia V2 falls short in this one area. With loud surroundings, the V2’s can’t compare with more expensive, or occasionally less expensive sets that are bulkier but keep noise pollution out.

Build

The first thing any user will notice is the 6’ extension cable attached to the 3’ auxiliary cable directly connected to the headset. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Steelseries has recently started attacking the console market, and with so many PC users demanding longer cables because of how many devices they have plugged into their rigs.

What is a tad disappointing is the rubber cabling. Most companies have shifted over to braided cloth cables, because they don’t tangle as easily and are almost impossible to rip. Or they just go wireless completely, like with the Logitech F540. And this isn’t just for headsets, but across the board: mice, keyboards, headsets, and in some cases even speakers. Having rubber cables is out of style, and even if the silver rubber matches the blue set nicely, it doesn’t match the gamer’s lifestyle today.

On that cable is a small control panel for volume and mute control. The control is too far down and too hard to reach, though I rarely needed to use it. Maybe it’s the old man in me coming out, but if I don’t want to say something out loud, I don’t say it. And if I need to change the volume, I change it on my computer. Still, other sets use some system to keep the control in reach instantly, whereas the V2 does not.

The one thing I really like about the build design is that I have no problem throwing this headset around. Sure, the microphone boom is retractable, and the cans are huge, but I’m a practical guy. If I need to jump out of my chair and get the front door, the last thing I need to do is look around where to gently, gingerly put my headset. With my Logitech G930s, I just wear them out the door (and hope I’m not going to stay long). With the Siberia V2, I have no problem tossing them on the ground on my way out.

Before you banish me to your own personal hell for such heresy, consider this: the Siberia V2 is so light that even if I threw them hard, straight at my carpeted floor, they wouldn’t break or get any damage. That peace of mind is something you can’t get with a big wireless set like the G930, or even with other wired sets.

Sound Quality

Like most of the Steelseries audio line, I’m happy with the quality of audio on the V2. This Siberia model has some fluctuation in the mid-range, and the very low-range sounds just lack in power, which is expected from an unpowered set such as the Siberia V2. That said, audio is soft, and pleasant to listen to at higher volume levels, which is practically a requirement with poor noise cancellation.

I played several games, movies and a ton of music with the Siberia V2 and haven’t been let down once. It fared well in providing accurate sounds. All across the board I was generally impressed with the audio quality, though once again that quality is only as good as your ambient noise. If you live in a noisy house, you may not get to appreciate the fine audio.

Conclusion

Should you feel jealous about not having this Siberia V2? Abso-fraggin-lutely. There aren’t many of these around. I take it back. You can get a V2, but not necessarily the awesomely just-before-the-sky-turns-black blue set. Not unless you went to the Grammy’s, know someone who did (and who is willing to give them up), or know someone at Steelseries who’s equally willing to part with them.

But don’t feel bad. The quality is identical across all Siberia V2 models, which means even if you can’t find this rare breed, there are plenty of others in the sea to catch. And it is a great catch. Strong audio, a smart, lightweight design that stays comfortable for hours, and fashionable too. A great buy if your house is quiet.

The Steelseries Siberia V2 Headset is available from Amazon starting at $74.99.










James Pikover

 
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.